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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Perhaps you can recall making preparations for a big event, a wedding or anniversary. There were invitations to send, menus to prepare, decorations to make, and party clothes to purchase. Today’s readings are about preparing for an even bigger event, the coming of God’s Chosen One.

The Gospel begins with a proclamation of the “good news” of (or about) Jesus Christ. Mark apparently believes that his community already received a “Save the Date” notice for this celebration in the words of the prophet Isaiah, words which are also part of our First Reading.

The historical context for Isaiah’s oracle is the Babylonian Exile, a time of great sadness for the Jewish people. But the prophet’s message is one of tenderness and consolation. A straight path is being prepared for God’s coming. God’s glory (the Hebrew word kavod, meaning “splendor” or “honor”) will again be revealed to the people, and Jerusalem can shout from the mountain top, “Here is our God!”

But Mark goes a step further by identifying John the Baptist as the one called to deliver the invitation for the great event of God’s coming. He even dresses John for the occasion, making him look like the prophet Elijah (2 Kings 1:8). The baptism (literally “dunking”) that John proclaims is not Christian Baptism, but rather a commitment to a change of heart that makes it possible for us to receive God’s coming Kingdom.

The Second Reading, from a letter attributed to Peter, continues this theme of preparing for the coming of God’s Kingdom. We are reminded that cultivating a disposition that leads to good action is another important way to prepare for this party. At Home with the Word.

In His love and mine,

Fr. Ken

 

In the Spring of 1988, Bishop William D. Keeler formed a new parish to accommodate the rapid growth in Silver Spring Township and named Reverend James R. O’Brien as the founding pastor. That same year, Mother Katharine Drexel was beatified by Pope John Paul, II. Saint Katharine DrexelAt Bishop Keeler’s request, the Holy Father gave his permission to name the Parish in Silver Spring Township as the first parish in the world to be named in her honor. Eighteen years later, on October 1, 2000, Blessed Katharine Drexel was canonized and the church’s name changed to Saint Katharine Drexel.

The Saint Katharine Drexel Parish Family, guided by the Holy Spirit, commits itself to reaching out and sharing with all people the love and service modeled by our patroness, with the Eucharist as our source of strength. Through prayer and action, we will serve God, our Lord and Savior, and our community, exhibiting a special concern for the poor, oppressed and marginalized of our society, especially those among the African-American & Native-American peoples.

 

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